Gorey Celtic maintained their lead on top of Under-13 Division 2A of the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer League with a hard-fought win over Bunclody in Mullaunfin on Saturday.
The hosts only recently took top spot in the table away from Bridge Rovers, and this is the kind of performance that shows Celtic are keen to hold on to it.
Bunclody came into the game with no league win to their credit but they played, and fought, to the end. Indeed, a little luck in the first quarter and they may well have taken the lead and changed the game completely.
Adam Jeffers was the first to try his luck but his shot was deflected into Stephen Roche's path and the rangy striker poked wide of Jesse Chambers post. The visitors went close again in the twelfth minute when Thomas Jeffers released attacker Roche but he flashed his shot wide.
It took Gorey 14 minutes to threaten but when they did it was a classy enough move to provide the opening goal.
Brendan Tobin did superbly on the left wing to forge the space for a cross, and the perfect control and cool finish of Kyle Kenny gave Celtic the lead.
Kenny was involved three minutes later when the home side grabbed a second goal. This time his cross from the right bobbled around the Bunclody box before eventually falling for David Smith to poke past Mark Sweeney.
Other than those two moments of brilliance from Gorey, the first-half was dominated by two defences playing at the top of their games. In particular Celtic looked sharp with Adam Kilroy, Nathan Bolton, Fintan Staunton and Finn Mulcahy controlling the Bunclody attack.
Sweeney produced two quality saves early in the second-half to keep his side in the game, but they nearly edged their way back into the match when Ciarán Nolan swung in a corner that clanked off the hosts' crossbar and went behind.
Bunclody did get the foothold they were searching for at the end of the third quarter when a horrible bobble saw Chambers mis-kick and Stephen Roche nip in to side-foot to the empty net for 2-1.
The move of the day came in the 48th minute and saw Kenny slip Darragh Byrne in on the right. The Gorey substitute still had plenty to do but he glided past the last defender and shot high to Sweeney's net.
There was still time for one last goal for Gorey when, with two minutes remaining, Kenny nipped in to intercept a clearance before running in on goal and scoring his side's fourth to wrap up a strong win for the title-chasers.
Star man - Kyle Kenny (Gorey Celtic): Two goals and two assists gave the talented attacker the perfect afternoon.
Gorey Celtic: Jesse Chambers; Adam Kilroy, Nathan Bolton, Fintan Staunton, Finn Mulcahy; Chris Montague, Ryan Connolly (capt.), David Smith, Brendan Tobin; Kyle Kenny, Cian Downey. Subs. - Daragh Byrne for Tobin (31), Aidan Mulcahy for Connolly (31).
Bunclody: Mark Sweeney; Darragh Bolger, Jared Morris, Ciarán Nolan, Liam Carton; David Furlong, Thomas Jeffers, Thomas Fitzgerald, Tommy Lambert, Adam Jeffers; Stephen Roche (capt.). Subs. - Shemie Kavanagh for Lambert (42), Nathan Byrne for Furlong (42).
Referee: Ed Cahill.